CV Writing Tips
We all know to secure an interview we need an impressive CV. After all your CV is a vital document that ultimately makes the very first impression on your potential employer. Trying to sell yourself in a CV can be daunting. Many people fall into common traps when writing a CV. We have listed a few do’s and don’ts below to help you polish up your CV for your next venture!
What should a CV contain?
Your CV is going to be your story! It should be a couple of pages about you, your past work and what you can offer your employers business. This needs to include your basic information: name, contact number, and email address. It should also contain your personal skills, past training and qualifications. Your CV should definitely include your career history to date and in chronological order. Some of your past work experiences could put you at the front of the queue for this job, as it could have been a similar job which means you might have more experience than other candidates.
What not to put on your CV!
Although it’s good to let your new employer know things about you, it’s also important to keep private information private!
Nationality –This is usually irrelevant to most positions you’re applying for.
NI Number & Date of Birth – These are not needed when applying for a job vacancy. This is your personal information and should not be disclosed.
Address –This is your personal information and doesn’t need to be shared when applying for job vacancies. Once more this will be required upon successful acceptance of a position where the employer will ask for this as part of their onboarding process.
If you don’t hold a skill, don’t brag and state that you do! Be honest, a CV is about letting your employer know exactly what you know and how capable you are at performing your potential new job. Stating that you have a skill or qualification that in fact, you don’t discredit your entire CV! Be honest and consistent through your CV, but do highlight the skills you do have. These may be different skills for different roles -its ok to have different versions of your CV tailored to each role.
Under Selling Yourself
If you have the skills or qualifications your CV is the perfect place to show them off! This for some people can be rather challenging as they don’t want to make themselves look as if they are overselling themselves! Ask a trusted colleague/friend/family member to point out your skills for you. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify your own key skills. Remember potential employers will not assume you have a skill; you have to make them aware of it. It is IMPORTANT to remember that employers can offer you any potential employee training to enable you to fit the role profile. However interpersonal skills are often left off CV’s and in fact very important. Ensure you state them!
Awareness to Excel
It’s important that you let the employer know that you are eager to learn, there is room for improvement in your skill base and some training may be necessary. This is a positive, as it shows honesty, integrity and a practical approach which potential employers may find appealing.
When a potential employer assesses a CV what are they looking for?
In most instances, employers are NOT looking for a perfect candidate for the role they are recruiting for. In most employers eyes, the ideal candidate will be more of a 75%-85% match. They will have the idea that the candidate can be trained and shaped to the business/role. This will ultimately see the longevity of the employee within the organisation.
This is a key part of your CV, this short paragraph sells you and is generally the first thing prospective employers are drawn to on a CV. It should be engaging, powerful and make you stand out from the crowd. Ideally, your Personal Statement can be tweaked and adapted slightly depending on which type of role you are applying for. Here’s an example of a personal statement:
‘A highly motivated and experienced Administrator with a strong background within Customer and Client Services. With a proven track record of integrating within teams positively and quickly, I have successfully supported business functions with my in-depth knowledge of all Microsoft Office Programs. With outstanding communication skills, I have been able to communicate confidently and effectively to internal and external stakeholders utilising a variety of media. My proactive professional aptitude has seen me quickly excel within roles and deliver a high-quality service, proactively, efficiently and effectively.’
These are the skills that highlight you as a suitable candidate. For example, if you’re good working with Excel, SAGE and Microsoft Package this might put you ahead of other candidates who haven’t had any experience working with these programs. Ensure that you read the full role requirement and skills list that the employer has given out. It is important that you read the role specification and truthfully adapt your CV to show your capability for the role.
We hope this helps and that this will give you the confidence to write or rewrite your CV to get yourself that dream job!